Adam Afriyie’s electioneering inspired calls for an EU referendum to be held before the General Election are back in the ‘news’. He has managed to push for a vote to bring forward Cameron’s proposed referendum, so his profile has been dusted off as the Mail indulges its fascination for parliamentary spats.
It is there we find that Simon Walters is in ‘educational’ mode, sharing his very special insider insights:
Afriyie hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of winning Friday’s vote. But merely by forcing a vote on the issue, he could snatch one of Cameron’s Election trump cards from his hand.
The Prime Minister’s ploy of offering an EU referendum in 2017 is his only realistic hope of wooing back fed-up Tories from UKIP and, in turn, his only hope of winning the Election.
A 2014 referendum would wreck that. For all his anti-Brussels rhetoric, Cameron does not want to go down in history as the man who led the UK out of Europe.
And he believes there is far too little time before Afriyie’s chosen date, October 23 next year, to win concessions from Brussels needed to secure the ‘yes’ vote the Prime Minister secretly wants.
No doubt this revelation will cause a great deal of excitement. Who shared this secret with Walters? What was behind it being leaked? Is there a naysayer deep inside Cameron’s inner circle who doesn’t agree with him? This clearly is clearly big news. Why it isn’t on the front page is a mystery. Thank God someone has revealed this to us.
Sarcasm aside, the story offers a smidgen of value as it reinforces the point that Afriyie isn’t doing this because he passionately believes in people having their democratic say or because he wants the UK to withdraw from the EU. Afriyie’s motives are partisan in the extreme…
I did this because my conscience demanded it.
I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if, out of 650 MPs, not a single MP said, “Hang on a second, we should at least be trying to get a referendum in this Parliament.” The Conservatives are sleep-walking to electoral defeat if we don’t have a referendum before 2015.
Some conscience. Clearly Mr Afriyie is this Parliament’s leader of the self preservation society.